It was an emotional start Monday night to a series of four English Montreal School Board public consultations to decide the fate of some schools.

Declining enrolment has the EMSB recommending that several schools and adult education centres be either relocated or shut down.

Dozens of parents turned out Monday night to plead a case for their children's schools.

Parents defended St. Brendan School and Nesbitt School, which are facing closure, as well as Perspectives II High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate & St. Pius Adult Education Centre, which are facing relocation.

This is the first of four consultation meetings between parents and EMSB commissioners, as 13 other schools plead their case this week.

The school board will not reach its decision until the new year.

Mother Maria Santamaria defended St. Brendan's School and its special education program, which she credits to helping her seven-year-old autistic son Justin.

"He's come such along way, to the point where academically he's to par with all the other kids and socially you can barely tell. This is mostly because of him being in an environment where he feels safe to thrive," said Santamaria.

With just over 100 students, 40 per cent of the students at St. Brendan's have special needs

EMSB chairperson Angela Mancini said it's a matter of resources.

""We are spreading out resources thinly when we have a lot of small schools that we run," said Mancini.

Nesbitt School, with close to 400 students, is at 56 per cent capacity

"We have room to grow. We have facilities that could cater to their special needs students," said Nesbitt parent Joseph Karadakis.

Despite the threat, Nesbitt is facing good odds to remain open, Agostino Cannavino, EMSB commissioner for Rosemount.

"At the end of the day, the commissioners are going to have to take a decision and they're going to have to keep that school open because it services the community," he said.

Meetings continue Tuesday night, with Carlyle School facing closure, and St. Raphael School and Royal Vale School & Marymount Adult Education Centre facing relocation. Hearings continue until Thursday.

Here is a list of schools up for closure and when they will be defended.

Meetings are held at 6 p.m. in the Laurence Patterson conference room at 6000 Fielding Ave.

Monday, Dec. 5
Nesbitt School (closure)
Perspectives II High School (relocation)
St. Brendan School (closure)
St. Pius X Adult Education Centre (relocation)
Vincent Massey Collegiate (relocation)

Tuesday, Dec. 6
Carlyle School (closure)
Marymount Adult Education Centre (relocation)
Royal Vale School (relocation)
St. Raphaël School (relocation)

Wednesday, Dec. 7
James Lyng High School (closure)
Programme Mile-End High School (relocation)
St. Gabriel/St. John Bosco School (closure)
Vezina High School (relocation)

Thursday, Dec. 8
Advisory Committee on Special Education Services
Central Parents' Committee
Fraser Academy (closure)
Westmount Park district boundary